After the success of day one, I was looking forward to the start of day two.
We started with a plenary session on “Advocacy: Extreme Makeover edition” to learn about what the CSMLS is doing to help promote our profession as well as what we can do to help advocate in our provinces. It was a very interactive session including dancing (!) and breaking into small groups to create our own message and how we would achieve it.
Our group’s idea focused on the looming shortage of MLTs in New Brunswick and also the job cuts to senior experienced techs. There needs to be a balance of new grads who can take over the more skilled positions and experts to train them. We wanted to create a campaign about bringing new grads to New Brunswick by offering some loan forgiveness by the government or an informational campaign. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to share our ideas but I think it really sparked something in a lot of members as I heard these discussions continuing throughout the day.
After this I headed to my first session on Flow Cytometry to learn about how it is being used in the lab. I do have some background in flow cytometry but it was great to listen to an expert talk about how it is used to discover chronic leukemias, hairy cell leukemia etc. It is a complicated procedure so I’ll spare you with the details but I had fun looking at the case studies and realizing I know a lot of it!
Second session was “Defining our Next Generation of MLTs”. I felt like I was cheating a bit since I am the next generation but I wanted to get a sense of what workplaces are looking for in a new grad before I head out into the field. There were a lot of great discussions and ideas flowing throughout the room and I enjoyed getting to know some of the experts currently working.
The night ended with the President’s Reception in the Palm Room at the Fairmont Empress followed by a private tour of the Royal BC Museum. Such a creative and unique twist on a typical “reception”! I loved getting to see the beautiful exhibits while socializing. There was also a rumour that a few people might have set off some alarms trying attempting to ride this giant seal sculpture…. it may have crossed my mind as well. )